Engaging children with artists who look like them, have similar experiences, and come from similar backgrounds is a great source of inspiration and empowerment. By reflecting their own identities, experiences and motivations (mirrors) and also providing insight into the identities, experiences and motivations of others (windows) can move students toward more nuanced perceptions of the world around them (sliding glass doors).* Discover new BIPOC artists to add to your curriculum.
*Source: By Rudine Sims Bishop, The Ohio State University. "Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors"
Middle Eastern & NOrth African Artists
Artists have many layered identities and art educators need to present them as such.
Representing diverse artists in your curriculum is only part of an Anti-Bias, Anti-Racist curriculum. It needs to be more than a symbolic effort and art educators need to take into account intersectionality when introducing these artists to students. How do aspects of an artists’ social and political identities (ex. gender, sex, race, class, sexuality, religion, ability, physical appearance, etc.) intersect within their work?
In addition, we recognize that race is socially constructed and it is impossible to put humans in clearly defined categories by race. Racial identity is deeply personal, and artists within any given subgroup define themselves differently. Race, ethnicity, and nationality are all factors artist's individually consider as their personal identity. However, as mentioned previously that is not all that there is to their identity. We know that artists have many layered identities and art educators need to do the research to present them as such. These groupings are not perfect, as humans are not meant to be divided into boxes. We hope this resource can help art educators identify who is missing from their curriculum in order to create a curriculum more representative of the incredible diversity among students and artists today.
The Middle East is a transcontinental region which generally includes Western Asia, all of Egypt, and Turkey. The term has come into wider usage as a replacement of the term Near East beginning in the early 20th century. By the mid-20th century a common definition of the Middle East encompassed the states or territories of: Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, and the various states and territories of Arabia proper (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the Trucial States, or Trucial Oman [now United Arab Emirates]).
MENA is an acronym for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The region includes approximately 19 countries, according to World Atlas. These are Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. A further 16 countries are sometimes included depending on usage. These are Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Chad, Comoros, Cyprus, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Somalia, Sudan, and Turkey.
North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in the west, to Egypt's Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the east. The most commonly accepted definition includes Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Sudan, the 6 countries that shape the top North of the African continent.